You’ve started up your podcast, and it’s time to take things to the next level. Want to promote your podcast and expand your audience even further? Perhaps even take on the competition? It’s time to take steps to get more podcast subscribers.
These 10 steps will take you from podcast beginner to established pro. Start with Step 1 and work your way down. By the end, you’ll have the ideas and tools you need to really boost your podcast subscriber list!
1. Know Your Podcast’s Target Audience
One of the things you should have known when launching your podcast is the type of person you’re speaking to. What are their interests? Why should they be listening to you?
Your target audience should be clear. If you’re recording podcasts about classic film noir movies, then your audience should be fans of those films. But to appreciate just who your audience is, you need to break it down further. The goal isn’t just to get more podcast subscribers — it’s to get the right podcast subscribers.
What you need is the concept of the ideal listener. You might call him or her an avatar. It’s this ideal listener that you need to address when you record your shows. It doesn’t matter that they don’t exist in reality — only that they can exist. And once you’ve expanded your audience further, you’ll find those people.
Beacon has a great tool for detailing your ideal listener. Give it a try!
2. Recognize the Niche, Find Your Podcast’s Topic
You should also know the niche that your podcast operates within. It might be classic movies, following the example above. Or it might be video games, fantasy TV shows, Harry Potter, how to cook… the niche can be anything.
Your podcast’s topic will typically be a mere aspect of this niche. For instance, a podcast in the video games niche might focus on writing and plotting video games. It can take a while to settle on a topic that works for you, but once you’re there you need to exploit it as best you can.
Focus on that topic, and your audience will soon recognize what sort of material they’re going to get when they click play. This is essentially the first stage of building a brand.
3. Mine the Niche, Find Famous Names as Guests
You don’t have to have a well-known guest for every single podcast, but it can certainly help. Brainstorm, research popular themes within your niche, and find the key people that are involved. Reach out to them via email. You’ll be surprised by how many people say “Yes” to appear on a podcast.
Niche stars will attract listeners. So don’t miss this chance to get some good conversation going. Research the guest, what they do, and what they’re known for. Work on some great questions that they might not have been asked before. You might even reach out to your followers on social media for questions and discussion points.
And remember to tell your followers on Twitter, Facebook, and beyond that the guest is coming onto your podcast! Build the anticipation, and your audience will increase.
4. Make Sure They Know When Your Podcast Is Live
Similarly, it’s a really good idea to let people know when your podcast is live. We’re going to look at social media in more detail below, but you should already have Facebook and Twitter accounts spreading the word.
But when you’re sharing the news of your latest podcast dropping on iTunes, make a point of letting the guest know too. They’re bound to want to share the news with their followers, and by doing so will send a whole new audience your way. Some of these new listeners will hang around, so make sure the episode is good, well-produced, and typical of the quality you’re striving for.
A quick email or tweet to the guest will give them the opportunity to quickly and effortlessly let their own followers know where to find your podcast.
5. Encourage Listeners to Share Your Show
You might want to pre-record this as an insert (it’s easy to drop in if you use a podcast template). Remember that it’s vital to ask your listeners to do their bit for your podcast. The best thing they can do is leave a review on iTunes, but as this takes time, a preferable option might be to share your show on social media.
This might mean sharing it publicly, or on the wall of a friend or even a page. It might mean a simple retweet, or one with an endorsement. If you can encourage listeners to share your podcast with more potential fans, you’ll get more podcast subscribers.
Twitter is a great place for encouraging shares and likes. Facebook also has this option. Whether you use one, or both, follower engagement will reap dividends.
6. Get Active on Social Media
You should already be using Twitter, Facebook, and other social media networks to share your podcast. Tools like Buffer will help you to schedule repeated posts to help catch the attention of followers who might have missed an earlier notification.
But there’s more to an active social media presence than automated updates. These are really useful, but you should do more. For instance, with Facebook or Twitter installed on your phone, you can effortlessly share interesting, related items that your listeners might want to know about.
Similarly, you can use social networks to have actual, direct conversations with your listeners. This is a great opportunity to find out more about them, which will inform your interpretation of “the listener” or avatar discussed above.
7. Turn Listeners Into Readers (and Vice Versa)
You’ve probably encountered “experts” in building an online presence extolling the virtues of an email list. Basically, this is a list of email subscribers who want to hear from you. But how does this help you get more podcast subscribers?
If you make listeners aware of your blog, website or email list, you can convert them into readers. Meanwhile, the existing readers may be unaware of your audio content. So why not convert them into listeners of your podcast?
Email sounding a bit old school? Look at it this way: computer users whose usage dates back to the 1990s are more likely to be familiar with email than social media. Subscribing to emails for interesting stuff is far more habitual for an older audience.
8. Embrace Multimedia
As well as social media, you should try leveraging multimedia to promote your podcast to a new audience. You’re already familiar with podcasting, but what about video?
We’re not saying you should supplant your audio podcast with a video one (although you can upload an audio podcast to YouTube). Podcasts are so much easier to digest, requiring just a phone and earphones, and no visual attention. They’re ideal for listening to on the daily commute, in a way that videos are not.
However, having a presence on YouTube can be beneficial.
One thing you might try is creating a trailer for your podcast using video clips and photos. Or you might offer viewers a few reasons why they should be listening to your show. What will they get out of it? What can you teach or show them?
It’s always useful to have a YouTube channel that you can use to share any video material you have; but then again, all of these ideas can be used on Facebook or Instagram, too.
9. Call on Your Family and Friends for Support
Reviews and sharing are really important to the growth of your podcast. This is just as true when you’ve been running it for a few months as it is at the beginning. Fortunately, you can call on people you know for some support here.
If you need reviews for iTunes, ask friends to help out. Need some extra social media shares? Have a word with your family. Get the word out to your new audience via the audience you’ve always had. They might refuse, or find they don’t have time for reviews, but you won’t get anything if you don’t ask. Just make sure they know how to access and manage podcasts in iTunes before they say “Yes”!
While we’re on the topic of iTunes, it’s worth underlining just how much of a boost reviews here can give you. So consider an incentive to your listeners, like reading out their reviews or giving a monthly prize for the best one. Use social media and your podcast to announce the incentive and see what happens!
10. Get Old Media Involved
Finally, don’t overlook more traditional methods of promotion. Think back to your guest. Is this person well known? If so, you might be able to get some column inches in a relevant publication. Did the guest utter something jaw-dropping? This could prove to be big news!
Other press-friendly topics might include a launch, a milestone or anniversary, contests or giveaways, and episodes relevant to a particular publication. A press release will be required, but these are straightforward to compose (usually just a single page) and can be distributed for free via sites like www.i-newswire.com.
You don’t have to focus on print media and radio, either. Websites that publish material in the same niche might like the story, especially if they don’t have their own podcast.
This is a tactic best used sporadically, and only when necessary. However, it can work, and can find you a new audience in an offline or offline location.
Get More Podcast Subscribers Now!
We’re certain you’ll extend your podcast audience, but if there is anything in these tips that you should do without fail, it’s this:
Imagine the listener. Speak to the listener. Make it personal, and sound cheerful and welcoming. Do this by smiling as you speak. Get this right, and everything else should be simple.
Concerned by your podcast’s recent performance? Feeling like you’re treading water? Well, it’s time to use these ten tips to get your podcast noticed by an ever-growing audience. Try them out and tell us how it worked out.
And if you have any tips of your own, leave a comment and let us know!
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